Despite their iconic status and huge market share, Campbell’s Red & White condensed soups had been in decline for years. Consistent advertising with product news had eroded brand equity and loyalty; the emotional benefits of soup had been ignored in favour of product attributes. Despite high awareness, consumers could not clearly articulate what Campbell’s meant to them anymore, even though many had grown up with it. To rejuvenate interest in these products, it was deemed necessary to promote frequency of use – to get people to eat “one more bowl”, but not in the usual manner.
Our creative mission was to create ads that brought Campbell’s decidedly into the present yet without foregoing any of the warm and goodness of the brand’s heritage. Print ads were developed to run in daily newspapers and major magazines with a focus on hot, newsy items and controversies of the day- and the problems that life sometimes throws at each and every one of us. The campaign theme was to remind people that soup was good to settle all difficulties. The ads struck a delicate balance between past and present, retaining the values that Campbell’s has come to represent but at the same time bumping Campbell’s boldly into the present. Sales volume rose by 2.4% – a number that at first blush seems modest. However, considering, that the brand had been declining for years the turn-around was deemed a huge success.